Effects of booze and phones taken for a spin

Blurred vision, delayed reactions and distractions.

They were the three variants added to a driving simulator that senior students at Blayney High School will take turns at this week.

Provided by the Rotary Club of Young, and supported by the Rotary club of Blayney, the driving simulator has two scenarios available, drunk driving and being distracted by text messages on a screen.

In the drunk driving version the screen is slightly blurred and any reactions by the driver come with a slight delay, mimicking the effects of alcohol.

“It made a huge difference,” said year 11 student, and learner for three months, Shailee Milthorpe. “I didn’t think it would, but the reaction time was different.”

For Brooke Chapman, the task was to count the words in a sentence on the left side screen and press ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ if the word count matched a statement like ‘7 words – Drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot.’

Designed to mimic the distraction of reading a message on a phone, Brooke found herself crossing the lines on more than one occasion.